UEFA Stop Use of 2022 St. Petersburg Champions League Final Ball

Update: Fully confirming the switch away from the St. Petersburg design, the likes of Bayern and Liverpool trained with the group-stage ball ahead of their Champions League matches this week.

Update: As expected, UEFA have stopped the use of the St. Petersburg-branded 2021-22 Champions League final ball following the decision to move the final to Paris.

As observed by our follower Sandro in the UEFA Youth League, which was played this week, UEFA reverted to using the group-stage football after the St. Petersburg version had already been used in earlier games this month. Specifically, the group-stage football was used in the games between Manchester United and Dortmund, and PSG and Sevilla yesterday, and is expected to be used in today's games as well.

It will be interesting to see whether a dedicated new final ball will be released for the UEFA Champions League or if UEFA will take the same action as in the Youth League. The UEFA CL returns on March 8.

Original article (Feb 25, 2022): With Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine, many voices worldwide cried out against this move. Among them were also UEFA, who planned to hold the 2022 Champions League final in St. Petersburg.

Will Adidas Change the UCL Final Ball?

UEFA strongly condemned Russia's actions and met today to make the decision to remove St. Petersburg as the host city. The final is to be played on May 28, 2022, with the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, near Paris, announced as the new location.

The last time a Champions League final was staged at this venue was in 2006, when Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1.

With St. Petersburg no longer hosting the 2022 Champions League final, Adidas' 2022 UCL final ball might require an aesthetic makeover.

Adidas 2022 Champions League Final Ball Released

The entire design is inspired by the Russian city, so simply printing over the inscriptions will not be enough to fully remove the St. Petersburg theme.

It is not yet clear what Adidas have planned. With several months until the Champions League final, they certainly still have the option of releasing a new ball to match the new host city.

They have no obligation to mass-produce this new model. Adidas could simply produce a small quantity of Paris-themed UCL balls that are to be used only for the final.

For reference, in 2020, when the UCL final was supposed to take place in Istanbul but was played in Porto instead, the writing and design on the ball were not altered. The current Russia situation could be cause for Adidas and UEFA to think differently on the matter, though.

The ball for the 2006 Champions League final in France featured a design with the country's iconic 'tricolore'. Perhaps Adidas could invoke similar designs if they do decide to remake the 2022 UCL final ball.

What do you think Adidas should do? Comment below.